Faculty Writing: On Fighting for Reproductive Justice, and Unwanted Pregnancy as Forced Labor

Writing in the Introduction to a new, and timely, anthology of essays on abortion access and reproductive justice from Verso and Lux magazine, We Organize to Change Everything, BISR faulty Jessie Kindig reminds readers that “an attack on abortion is never just about abortion.” The anthology—released this month as the Supreme Court issued its devastating and surely lethal ruling overturning Roe v. Wade—gathers perspectives and strategies from grassroots activists across the Americas whose work brings together matters of family choice and Indigenous rights, bodily autonomy and the carceral state, workers’ rights and patient advocacy, in order to illustrate the nexus of issues at play in the movement for reproductive justice—and to highlight the limits of a mainstream strategy based in lobbying, fundraising, and litigation. “It is our hope,” writes Kindig, “that this book will be one starting point for a revitalized, and socialist, feminist movement, and the beginning of much-needed discussions both political and strategic.” Download the ebook here for free.

And, addressing the ethics of abortion from yet another angle, BISR faculty Sophie Lewis observes in The Nation that gestation is “real and, currently, often deadly dangerous labor”—and “that a key correlate of viewing gestating as labor is that forcing someone to gestate against their will is forced labor.” To sentimentalize pregnancy, she argues, and to sanitize the violence of abortion, is to misunderstand what’s at stake in fighting for the right to choose. 

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